sustainability and PackExpo

Engineers familiar with the packaging industry are probably familiar with the PackExpo show. It is the premier trade show in packaging equipment, and it kicked off today in Las Vegas.

Sustainability was one of the key themes in the conference tracks. But it was interesting to talk to exhibitors about sustainability. A lot of them didn't really know what the word was supposed to mean.

After a look around the show, the operating definition of sustainability seems to be, "Use less of everything." That was the message of show booths that boasted that their products somehow contributed to "sustainability."

The best example of sustainability I was able to uncover, using this definition, was a stretch wrap machine from Lantech. It used 30% less stretch wrap than competing processes, and uses patented new technology to do it, all with ordinary stretch wrap. What they call no-film-break technology uses a special mechanical platform to feed out film, rather than use a demand-pull as the film wraps around the pallet load.

The guys who were watching the demo of this thing were pretty amazed at what they were seeing. You could also cut a pretty big whole in the film and it wouldn't affect the wrapping process.

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